AltspaceVR is building virtual hangouts that it hopes you’ll use to watch a movie with friends or play a game of life-size chess.
By Rachel Metz
Why: Smart phones that run Android have become an alternative to Apple's mobile devices.
Key innovation: Designed well-crafted devices in partnerships with Google and wireless carriers.
HTC was the first company to build phones based on Google's Android mobile operating system, and its current generation of Android smart phones is able to compete with Apple's iPhone on features and price. In 2010, the company introduced the EVO, the world's first phone to take advantage of 4G network technology for lightning-fast Web browsing and new applications like live video chat.
The number of phones running Android exploded from six million in 2009 to 53 million in 2010. HTC claimed a third of that market, down from two thirds the previous year.
HTC's close ties with Google allowed it to dominate the market for Android smart phones early on, but the company has recently lost market share to competitors like Samsung and Motorola. It is now trying to build on the success of its first 4G offering with plans to build next-generation phones for all the major carriers and 4G technologies: Sprint’s WiMax network, T-Mobile and AT&T’s HSPA+ networks, and the recently announced Verizon LTE network.
Challenges and Next Steps:
The company recently unveiled its first tablet computer, an Android-based device; it’s one of the few that allow users to take handwritten notes with a stylus.